The five KPIs that have turned acquisition upside down

The advent of cookies and tracking tools has redesigned our way of communicating. And in this context of digital transformation, acquisition managers – also known as traffic managers or even communication managers – have considerably developed and expanded their profiles in recent years, to become genuine data experts.
But even if people have changed, it should be noted that the structures themselves have hardly changed. All too often still organised in silos (CRM, Acquisition, Media), they are based on performance indicators which, at best, are outdated; at worst, totally erroneous. In addition, some acquisition managers suffer from what we call “the French engineer syndrome”. They produce exceptional things, but don’t succeed in selling them or in getting them recognised internally. Today’s tracking tools, however, allow for the creation of new KPIs.

Yesterday’s KPIs

The first KPIs were installed on non-tracked environments. Also, in order to evaluate the relevance of a campaign, we did not use many indicators:
• The turnover generated by all the leads collected (budgetary vision)
And the responsiveness of the database collected over the long term (legacy vision)

Although such indicators might be interesting, they nevertheless bring with them a reductionist and pessimistic vision of the actions taken.


Because they totally obscure the media impact generated by an acquisition campaign. Because when 10,000 prospective customers choose to entrust their data to you via a subscription form (and thereby constitute leads), this represents more or less 300,000 people who have reacted to your message upstream (click on a banner, open an e-mail). Would it therefore not be more interesting to follow the behaviour of the 290,000 additional contacts generated, rather than limit yourself solely to the 10,000 leads collected?

Yes. This is exactly what is now being proposed by specialised companies in the analysis of customer traffic patterns. They show, with supporting evidence, what our common sense intuited yesterday: several contact points are necessary to convince a person to “buy” from you. In addition, among these 290,000 additional contacts generated, there are most certainly contact points that will trigger future sales.

This is why monitoring only the turnover generated by the leads collected for evaluating the effectiveness of a campaign makes no sense today. It is even an error of judgment since this is tantamount to denying, on the one hand, the media attention generated by your campaign; and denying, on the other hand, the formidable accelerator that is word-of-mouth, which you generate beyond the leads.

Pessimistic too? Yes.

Yesterday’s indicators are also pessimistic with their legacy vision. They present a vision of a database that declines in value over time with a more or less pronounced erosion of the customer base depending on the quality of the collection or solicitation policy adopted (PRM/CRM). But who, on a more personal level, has never seen their friendly relations develop with time? Nobody, obviously.

Also, even if the erosion of a database is something quite natural, this does not mean that a variable is understood and accepted in business. Who has never broken out in a cold sweat at the very thought of presenting the inactivity rate of their database? Who has never seen their reputation dragged through the mud internally following the publication of these figures?
If this indicator is indeed essential, it must not obscure, on the contrary, all the work done upstream. This is why the inactivity rate of a database should always be accompanied by indicators offering an overall view, far more indicatory of the wealth created by acquisition managers. Without this, only the inactivity rate is more often than not recalled after 12 months, to the detriment of all the other aspects.

For all these reasons, it is crucial to adopt nowadays more realistic and more representative KPIs of the actions taken.

KPIs adapted to customer traffic patterns

The post-click era is no more. Common sense has returned, supported in particular by tracking tools that enable the monitoring and analysis of multiple contact points obtained during customer traffic patterns (1).

It has also been shown that acquisition strategies help in the creation of such contact points, well above and beyond the simple leads generated, so why not take them into account in the reporting tools? Would they not offer us a more realistic vision of the actions taken?

Why not also take into account the sum total of contributions generated by the media plan deployed (2), since it is now possible to monitor it?

Taking into account the volume of interactions generated by a campaign lets you then calculate your interaction expenditure (3), i.e. the effort required to obtain a reaction to your campaign. This expenditure can be calculated:
– either solely based on your acquisition campaign
– or based on the series of interactions generated by this campaign, whether they come from acquisition or CRM.

Moreover, this last indicator of interaction expenditure allows you not only to measure and compare over time your costs by leverage, but also by approach: lead generation, traffic generation, even branding operation (be careful, however, only to monitor interactions that are said to be useful, in other words those where only interest in your brand and offer are clearly identified).

Lastly, it would be prudent to present systematically the volume of interactions already generated with the percentage of addresses still active in your database (4). As this comparison will remind those ready to listen that your efforts have not been in vain, far from it.

Why not also compare the number of profiles still active with the turnover potential that they represent (5) if your entire database were to become customer-based? Remind everyone internally that if your opt-ins are processed correctly, they will be the number one ambassadors for the brand and the word-of-mouth accelerator that we are all looking for.
Everything comes down to a question of communication in business. Remind people, if necessary, that what you are working on has value. Acquisition and more generally any communication operation, has never been as strategic as is the case today.

Acquisition managers are the generals of tomorrow’s battles. As your customers no longer revolve around your brands. Your customers, or rather customers in general, have never been so disloyal and so inundated with solicitations from all directions. Also buying, and mainly buying elsewhere, has never been so easy.

This is why finding the right balance between under- and over-solicitation will be a major challenge for all of tomorrow’s brands and for any acquisition manager. Too present, you will irritate your customer; and too absent, you will see them leaving to buy from others.

The customer experience will be at the heart of all your future reflections. So ensure that you have applied the most competent profiles and the most efficient organisation.

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